Winter has arrived in Alaska and it’s hitting heavy this year. On Friday, September 25 record snowfall hit Fairbanks, Alaska and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any lighter as the season progresses. This snowfall is abnormal for this time of year, even for Alaska. If you’re taking your Alaska car rentals around the state, there are some weather tips and driving hints you need to be aware of in order to maintain your safety.
Driving in Alaska isn’t quite like driving in the main states. You need to remain vigilant, check the weather, and know your route. But there’s much more than that. Read on to find out how you can protect yourself and your family in your Alaska car rentals.
Record snowfall in Fairbanks
As mentioned above, record snowfalls hit on September 25 which reached 6.7 inches of snow. This substantially beat the previous daily record for September, being 0.8 inches in 1996.
Though it isn’t looking like this will continue throughout October, it is important to be warned and stay vigilant. Always expect the unexpected when it comes to Alaska weather.
It’s likely that the wet season will continue before snow hits full swing.
Winter preparation in Alaska
The first thing you need to do is to make sure your car is fully prepared for winter driving. As you’ll have Alaska car rentals, the preparation work will be done for you. However, if you’re keeping your Alaska car rentals for an extended period of time, it’s important that you area aware of the basic upkeep to stay safe on the road.
First, make sure your battery is always in good repair. Regularly check to make sure your battery and terminals are clean, with good connections, and free of any debris. Also make sure that the battery has a proper fluid level and has a good charge.
Throughout your journey, frequently check that the intake vents are clear of rubbish. If they’re blocked, this could cause issues with your heating and ventilation systems.
If you see at any point that you’re low on windshield washer fluid, make sure to refill with washer antifreeze solution. Check with your Alaska car rentals expert before filling any fluids, however, as they may prefer to do maintenance in shop.
Beginning your journey
Carbon monoxide kills. And worse yet, carbon monoxide is a silent killer. This toxic gas can quickly work its magic if you aren’t careful. When warming up your vehicle, make sure never to do so in a closed area, regardless of how large. Furthermore, it’s a smart idea to keep a window cracked a bit while you’re driving to let in oxygen and let out any carbon monoxide that may have crept in.
Before setting off, also make sure to completely clear your car of snow and ice. This means scraping the snow off all the windows, mirrors, and even the roof and hoods of the vehicle. Any snow on the hoods or roof of your Alaska car rentals could blow onto your windshields and blind you from the road. Break up and knock out the ice that has formed in your tires and on the under carriage of your car, as well. Ice in your tires could cause issues with stopping or maneuvering.
Finally, drive cautiously. The most important thing you can do is check the hourly forecast before you head off, and find check points where you can rest until the storm ends in case adverse weather hits. This means knowing your route in advance, rather than learning it while you’re driving. Make sure your fuel tank is always full. And last but not least, leave space. You’ll need almost double the amount of space as necessary in order to make sure you’re able to fully and completely stop in case of emergency.
Don’t wait until winter really hits to reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis Alaska.